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Performance assessments should involve meaningful, authentic, and engaging tasks. Such tasks "are better suited to assess more complex concepts and 21st century skills, such as mathematical reasoning, scientific investigations, issues analysis, creative problem solving, oral communications, and technology applications" and should "include both content specific and interdisciplinary performances." Teachers should implement them " as part of the curriculum at designated time periods during the school year" (McTighe & Wiggins, 2011, p. 17).
As good architects do, the graduate course participants identified the tools needed to teach more than 1,200 teachers about curriculum mapping. To lay the foundation, the course participants served as workshop leaders on staff development days during the 2000–2001 school year. They developed PowerPoint presentations and shared the curriculum maps they developed during the graduate course. All District Five teachers received templates on diskettes, along with notebooks that included essential information on mapping and the K–12 curriculum standards for their area of teaching. Course participants also trained building-level administrators and department leaders in the use of mapping tools and taught peer-coaching skills to instructional leaders. Curriculum mapping (CM) coaches were in every school. These CM coaches participated in a second graduate course during the 2000–2001 school year to develop tools that would further refine the building process. Leaders of this second graduate course were Harriet Wilson, an elementary principal, and Beth Moore, the district's teacher of the year.